When Tom Hardy attended the Oscars on Sunday (Feb. 28), he was hoping to spend some time in the audience with his fellow Hollywood stars, maybe even on stage accepting an award. But what he wasn’t expecting was to spend so much time waiting for his wife to emerge from the bathroom — where she was forced to go since they don’t offer a nursing room at the Kodak Theater.
“At one point, Tom Hardy, a supporting actor nominee for ‘The Revenant,’ was spotted pacing around the lobby, looking anxious,” reports the LA Times. “Asked if his nerves had something to do with ‘The Revenant’s’ Oscar prospects, the British actor, who recently became a father for the second time, said no.”
So, why was Hardy distressed? Because his wife, actress Charlotte Riley, had to keep running to the restroom with her lactation equipment. “I’m just waiting for my wife to finish breast pumping in the bathroom,” Hardy told the paper. “She has to do it every hour’.”
Hardy’s anecdote is raising eyebrows, if only because federal law for workers mandate that a room other than a bathroom must be provided for mothers who want to breastfeed or pump. Lots of businesses like Babies R Us and theme parks like Disneyland provide quiet, private areas designated for mothers. Yet, even the wife of a Hollywood A-lister can’t find similar facilities at the most extravagant awards show in the world.
In 2013, Adele explained the surreal experience of using the bathroom at the Oscars, describing the scene as “All these Hollywood superstars, lined up and breast-feeding in the ladies.”
When it comes to the inclusion of females and minorities, Hollywood clearly has a lot of work to do. But if the industry wants to make newborn mothers happier, it seems like a much simpler fix: All it takes is a few chairs in an empty room and a “Nursing” sign on the door.